• Roadside bombing kills three soldiers in Samar

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    THREE soldiers were killed and eight others were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in Las Navas town in Northern Samar.

    Maj. Amado Gutierrez, spokesman of the 8th Infantry Division on Friday identified the fatalities as Private Lino Mahinay, Private First Class (PFC) Jaype Yulas and PFC Alber Abolencia—all belonging to the 34th Infantry Battalion (34IB).

    Wounded were PFC Jay Ara–bening and PFC Dexter Quilates of the 2nd Scout Ranger Company, 1st Scout Ranger Battalion; and 2Lt. Marco Abante, Cpl. Roniie Balastas, PFC Gerry Culaban, PFC Danmar Ching, PFC Marlon Urbano, PFC Buenaventura Raygon of the 34IB.

    Gutierrez said the bombing happened on Tuesday in Ba–rangay Bugtosan.

    He said a 25-minute firefight ensued after the bombing until the rebels withdrew.

    “The blast was only 700 meters away from a populated area. The soldiers were on security operations when waylaid by the NPAs,” Gutierrez said.

    On June 7, Army troops clashed with 50 rebels in Barangay Paco, also in Las Navas, with no casualties on both sides.

    Gutierrez said the 40-minute encounter resulted to the capture of the rebels’ encampment that has 32 bunkers with tents, two kitchens, a mess hall and two comfort rooms, and the recovery of firearms, ammunitions, subversive documents and personal belongings, among others.

    On the same day, Gutierrez said two soldiers from the 673rd Infantry Battalion were wounded during an encounter with rebels while conducting peace and security operations at Barangay Sumuroy in Lope de Vega village.

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) denounced the NPA’s use of landmine which runs counter to the provision of the Convention on the Prohibition of Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, signed by 161 United Nations member states.

    Landmine accident is also a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) that specifically prohibits the use of landmine.

    The government and the National Democratic Front (NDF), representing the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the NPA signed the CARHRIHL on March 16, 1998.

    “Landmine not only posed danger to military personnel, but more so, it endangers the lives of innocent civilians who regularly and unwittingly pass by the road where landmines are planted,” the AFP said.

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